Canadian Researchers Isolate Stem Cells in Brain Tumors

Canadian scientists recently published the results of their research identifying stem cells in brain tumors that keep the tumor growing. The research was published in the Nov. 18 issue of Nature.

It was already known that breast cancer and leukemia use stem cells to quickly grow and regenerate when they are threatened with destruction, but the finding that brain tumors also utilize stem cells suggests that this is a common mechanism used by cancerous tumors.

Researchers first isolated stem cells from other cells in cancerous human tumors. They did this by extracting cells in the tumors that were producing a protein commonly found on the surface of other stem cells. They then injected 100 of these cells into mice.

Sixteen of the 19 mice injected with these cells developed cancerous brain tumors. This is the first time that researchers have demonstrated that such cells can indeed cause cancer itself.

According to Nature,

Moreover, the cancer stem cells grew into tumors that behaved similarly to those in the patients from which they came, resembling glioblastomas and medulloblastomas, for example. This suggests that mice tumors will be a good way to study the human disease.


Stem Cells Feed Brain Tumors. Kristen Philipkoski, Wired, November 17, 2004.

Stem cells home in on brain cancer. Jim Giles, Nature, October 25, 2004.

One thought on “Canadian Researchers Isolate Stem Cells in Brain Tumors”

  1. I think human are going to nature to animal by killing animal fooding,lab rotary ,harming their plantation& agricultural production.i suggesting them earth is not only human the nature gifted equity to all living .
    Janak Prasad Bhattarai
    Nepal Higher Secondary School
    Redcross circles co-ordinator

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